Widespread Panic's sunset performance — the first of two sets the group played Friday at Rothbury — had the feel of a spring break beach party. Dozens of yellow balls tagged with smiling faces bounced like popped corn on the throng of onlookers — an inordinate amount of whom were sporting the same fuzzy, Dr.Seuss-style hats worn by dating guru Mystery on VH1's The Pickup Artist. But despite the carnival-esque atmosphere, the band members looked more like laid-back college professors (aside from Dave Schools, who, despite his name, resembled a grizzly bear wrestling a bass guitar) as they stretched out on instrumental marathons (or songs that became them) like "North."
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